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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 25 April 2005






Weekly Update 25 April 2005




·         Wholesale Electricity Markets

·         Water Infrastructure

·         Energy Efficiency

·         Weatherization

·         Community Development Block Grants

·         Great Lakes Funding

·         Brookhaven Oil Heat

·         Invasive Species Legislation

Wholesale Electricity Markets


Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Susan Collins (R-ME) are seeking signatures on a letter to the Energy Committee about electricity issues of importance to states in the Northeast-Midwest region.  The letter argues for an energy bill that supports the development of competitive wholesale power markets.  The signature deadline is Wednesday, April 27.  Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).   


Water Infrastructure


Senators Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), and James Jeffords (I-VT) are seeking signatures on a letter requesting adequate funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s water infrastructure programs, including the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The gap between the documented need for infrastructure improvements and their actual funding widens each year, yet a recent poll showed that nearly three-quarters of Americans agree that "clean and safe water is a national issue that requires dedicated national funding."  The letter’s signature deadline is Wednesday, April 27.  Contacts:  Kris Sarri with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606) or Kathleen Gohn with Sen. Sarbanes (202/224-4998).



Energy Efficiency


Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Jack Reed (D-RI), Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) are circulating a letter that supports energy efficiency programs in the fiscal 2006 budget.  The letter pays particular attention to the Weatherization Assistance Program, State Energy Program, Energy Information Administration, Industrial Technologies Program, and the Distributed Energy Program.  With high energy prices affecting the budget of American families, these programs can help mitigate tight oil and natural gas markets, represent good investments in energy infrastructure, promote efficiency and cleaner power, and provide information necessary for energy markets to function efficiently.  The signature deadline is Thursday, April 28.  Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).




Reps. Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), and Mark Udall (D-CO) are seeking signatures on a letter that supports the president’s budget request for the Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program. The letter calls for $230 million in fiscal 2006 to help improve the energy efficiency of low-income families throughout the country and to reduce the energy costs of those least able to afford them.  Contact:  Warren Gunnels with Rep. Sanders (202/225-4115).


Community Development Block Grants


Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Norman Coleman (R-MN), Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Rick Santorum (R-PA) are seeking signatures on a letter asking appropriators to provide $4.732 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and related community development programs vital to communities across the nation.  The $4.732 billion matches the level of funding provided to these programs in fiscal 2005 and supported in the fiscal 2006 Budget Resolution.  The signature deadline is Friday, April 29.  Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).


Great Lakes Funding


Leaders of the Great Lakes Task Forces are seeking signatures on letters in the House and Senate requesting funding for several Great Lakes programs, such as the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal, Great Lakes Legacy program, and Great Lakes Fish & Wildlife Restoration program.  The signature deadline is April 25th. Contact: Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force at (202/224-1211).


Brookhaven Oil Heat


Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are requesting signatures on a letter seeking $1 million for the Brookhaven Oil Heat Program.  The research and development conducted by the Brookhaven Lab helps improve energy efficiency, conserve oil, and reduce home energy costs.  The signature deadline is Tuesday, April 26.  Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).


Invasive Species Legislation


An op-ed in the April 22 New York Times calls the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act a “worthy effort to update the National Invasive Species Act of 1996, which expired in 2002.”  The legislation – S. 770 and H.R. 1591 and H.R. 1592 – was introduced last week by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Reps. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) and Vernon Ehlers (R-MI).  Contacts:  Allegra Cangelosi with the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/464-4007) or Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).


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